Saturday, March 22, 2008

Michigan Democrats: An Illustration of Ineptitude

The facts in review: After the Michigan legislature and governor passed a generally bi-partisan bill to move the state's presidential primary up to January 15, the national Democratic party held to their promise [much to the surprise of some of us] of denying Michigan's delgates to the national Democratic convention later this year. Obama and some of the other candidates removed their names from the ballot; therefore, Hillary Clinton won by a fairly wide margin.

Other state primaries also took place in the following weeks, and still to this day, Obama and Clinton remained deadlocked in the delegate count. Therefore, Michigan's delegates [such as there might potentially be] would matter. This brings us to the present discussion, which appears to be dying out, of a "do-over primary" here in Michigan.

Hillary Clinton, currently trailing in the delegate count, really wants a do-over in the hope that she can cut into Obama's lead. And Obama, not surprisingly, supports nothing that would allow this to happen.

The entire concept of a "do-over primary" is inherently problematic. Who votes? Just Democrats? In Michigan, a voter can vote in only one primary—so some Republicans probably did vote in the Democratic primary, whether on a whim or for some concrete reason. Who pays for it? All Republicans and many Democrats agree firmly that the citizens of the state should not. Furthermore, state law, passed just a few years ago, only allows elections on specified dates of the year. In order to get this done before democratic-imposed deadlines, new legislation would have to be passed to change this (not likely). And then there's the whole mail-in idea; a brief bit of logical thinking will uncover several potential problems with that issue, too.

So what we Michiganders have witnessed is a petty, inept struggle that has ended in...nothing. There will be no "do-over." I offer two reasons for this:

  1. The lack of leadership among Michigan democrats. Compounded, of course, by their own petty infighting.
  2. The fact that a "do-over" is completely outside the rules! What sort of mentality is it that says, if we don't like the way things are going, we change the rules?!? And, of course, they'd have to get Republicans to agree to this...and they are far less likely to be so cavalier with the rules.

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